We’re all guilty of taking someone for granted at least once. But learning how much we can hurt people this way can help us avoid doing it again.
I know we’ve all done this before. Taking someone for granted is just a human flaw. However, it’s a flaw we should all strive to correct. You never know just how much you can negatively affect someone when you don’t appreciate what they do for you.
This isn’t just true in romantic relationships, either. Although that’s where it’s seen most, any close relationship you have can be completely ruined if you don’t appreciate them. They can be drastically affected by your dismissal of the things they do for you and it can have a lasting impact.
How to make sure you’re appreciating someone
If you want to avoid taking someone for granted, you have to show them how much you appreciate them. It really doesn’t take a lot of effort, but people often completely forget to do the little things.
Even a grateful, “Thank you so much!” when your partner brings you your morning coffee can make a huge difference. Reciprocating their nice deeds with your own kindness can also be extremely beneficial. Overall, you have to show and even tell someone that you’re grateful to have them. [Read: 25 ways to show someone you appreciate them without using words]
The negative effects of taking someone for granted you can never undo
Thanks to this world’s lack of time travel, once something is done, you can’t take it back. There’s no way for you to go back and undo everything. That’s why you really have to be aware of how you’re treating those closest to you.
If you’re not careful, your lack of appreciation can leave lasting effects on someone you really care about. Here’s how you taking someone for granted can permanently hurt them.
#1 They grow resentful. And they should. When someone gives and gives and gives and gets nothing in return, it makes them bitter. They start asking why they’re even doing anything nice for you at all. They’ll grow unhappy.
#2 They stop trusting you. Why should they trust someone who causes them so much unhappiness, someone who doesn’t do anything nice for them? When you’re very close to someone, there are certain expectations that need to be met.
You need to be there for them when they need someone to talk to. You have to reach out and genuinely care about their lives. If you’re not doing any of the things a real friend, family member, or partner should, the other person loses trust in you. They can’t count on you. And therefore, they’ll end up having trouble trusting new people, too. [Read: How to regain their trust after you messed up]
#3 Their self-worth plummets. If there’s one thing to take away from this, it’s that taking someone for granted makes them feel like they’re worth less than they are. They start to feel devalued. That’s because you’re not valuing them.
How can someone feel as though they’re valued when you do nothing to show them that? When someone’s self-worth drops, so does their self-esteem and their happiness.
#4 You grow apart significantly. If you’re not prepared to lose someone for good, stop taking them for granted. You need to appreciate those who put an effort into making your relationship work.
If they’re the only person trying and doing things for you, they’ll realize that. And when they see how little you seem to care, they’ll stop reaching out and you’ll just grow apart. [Read: 20 signs you’re growing apart majorly]
#5 They’ll only remember the fact that you took them for granted. Out of everything they could remember about you 20 years from now, what do you want them to think about? How funny you were? How great of a friend you were?
Well, taking someone for granted only produces one memory that stands out above the rest: that you never appreciated them. That’s really the main thing they’ll remember when looking back on your relationship. Not all the great times you had, but how much they gave and didn’t get back.
#6 They feel like they don’t contribute to the relationship. This is probably one of the most harmful things that happens when you take someone for granted.
#7 They become insecure. Because of everything they give and don’t get, they become insecure. It makes them feel like they aren’t worth the praise when you never thank them or appreciate their effort. This results in them feeling down about themselves because it’s like they never do anything right.
Even though they are. You have to show your appreciation for what people do so they can feel validated. You want to make sure they know how much you like what they do for you. That praise can actually make a huge difference.
#8 They try too hard to prove themselves. This isn’t just in your relationship. This is a long-lasting effect that’ll impact their future relationships. They’ll try too hard to please their partner and actually turn them away.
It’ll seem like they’re clingy when really, all they want to do is show their partner how much they deserve them. Trying too hard is a huge issue in relationships and by taking someone for granted, you’re making them do this in future relationships. [Read: 20 common signs of a person trying too hard to please you]
#9 They become reserved people. Why would someone give you their opinion or ask for advice when you never listen? After a while of this, they’ll just stop altogether. I don’t blame them! If you don’t appreciate someone for long enough, their behavior can actually change this way.
They’ll stop speaking up. They’ll stop asking for help. Overall, they’ll just start to become reserved. This can be harmful if they really do need some helpful advice for a serious issue. Never ignore someone who’s close to you.
#10 They hold everything inside. Every little emotion they have is usually kept to themselves after they’ve been with someone who took them for granted. Why? Because their issues and concerns were never addressed previously.
Taking someone for granted can actually cause them to stop voicing their opinions. When you don’t listen or don’t take them seriously, they’ll stop going to you altogether. This can carry over into their next relationships and make forming a real bond difficult for them.
You may not even notice that you’re taking someone for granted. Do some self-reflecting and realize how much you may be deeply affecting your significant other or someone you love by not appreciating them at all.
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Bella is a lifestyle writer, cheese enthusiast (Wisconsin native over here) and fantasy adventure author-in-progress who enjoys all things love, dog, p...